John and Julie Gottman are a married couple of Psychologists/Psychotherapists who have studied couples for well over 40 years. The have developed a a science around relationships, in what works and what doesn’t to create a strong and positive relationship. The recently talked about the subjects which are difficult in couples to discuss and how masters of relationships are able to have these conversations to improve their relationship, where disaster relationships avoid them.
The list is below. Do/can you have these conversations with your partner around these topics to improve your relationship?
Trust and Commitment. Trust is cherishing each other and showing your partner that you can be counted on. Choosing commitment means accepting your partner exactly as he or she is, despite their flaws.
Conflict. Conflict happens in every relationship, and it’s a myth to believe that in a happy relationship you’ll get along all the time. Relationship conflict serves a purpose. It’s an opportunity to get to know your partner better and to develop deeper intimacy as you talk about and work through your differences.
Sex and Intimacy. Romantic, intimate rituals of connection keep a relationship happy and passionate. Couples who talk about sex have more sex, but talking about sex is difficult for the majority of couples—it gets easier and more comfortable the more you do it.
Work and Money. Money issues aren’t about money. They’re about what money means to each partner in a relationship. Discovering what money means to both of you will go a long way in resolving the conflicts you may have around money.
Family. Approximately two-thirds of couples have a sharp drop in relationship satisfaction shortly after a child is born, and this drop gets deeper with each subsequent child. To avoid this drop in relationship happiness, conflict needs to be low and you need to maintain your sexual relationship.
Fun and Adventure. Play and adventure are vital components to a successful and joyful relationship. It’s okay if you and your partner have different ideas about what constitutes play and adventure. The key is for you to respect each other’s sense of adventure and what it means to that partner.
Growth and Spirituality. The only constant in a relationship is change. The key is how each person in the relationship accommodates the growth of the other partner. Relationships can be more than just two individuals coming together—they can be stories of transformation and great contribution and meaning to the world.
Dreams. Honoring each other’s dreams is the secret ingredient to creating love for a lifetime. When dreams are honored, everything else in the relationship gets easier.
By having these conversations, you understand your partner more, and the relationship grows with the understanding.